Unsure about the correct way to store and carry propane to your camping site? Chill out, for weâ€™ve got you covered. In this article, we discuss the ways to carry and store propane in cars and minivans.
Camping gas stoves are a hungry camperâ€™s best friend. Not only are they more efficient than campfires, they are also available in a large variety in the market â€“ there is a camping gas stove to match all your needs.
If youâ€™re unaware about what a camping stove is, and what its varieties are, or if you have questions about which camping stove is the right fit for your needs, we recommend that you go through our previous articles.
For knowing more about the basics of camping gas â€“ what it is, what are its properties and types â€“ you can find more information here:
Camperâ€™s Guide To Camping Gas: Your Cuppaâ€™s Camping Best Friend
If youâ€™re wondering which camping stove to purchase, we recommend you go through Propane Vs Butane? â€“ Know Which Camping Stove Is Better For You; here we discuss the similarities and differences between the two main kinds of camping gas stoves available, and we discuss the pros and cons of each.
Purchased everything you need to set up your stove, but donâ€™t know how? Donâ€™t worry. Weâ€™ve got that covered too. Check out the article Know The Laborsaving, Easy Way Of Attaching Propane Tank To Camping Stove for a complete guide on how to set your own camping stove up from scratch.
Now, coming to the burning question at hand â€“ how do we safely carry the propane to the campsite? Without further ado, letâ€™s get started!
#1 Storage Methods For Tanks
Before we get into the transporting problem, let us know the correct way to store the propane tanks â€“ be it in your car, campsite, or garage.
It is important to store the propane tanks correctly as they are high-pressure vessels filled with extremely flammable and highly volatile fuel.
1. Upright is right.
Always store the tanks in an upright position. Ensure that wherever youâ€™re storing the tank, you donâ€™t slosh the fluid around.
2. Proper ventilation is the cornerstone of safe storage.
Propane needs a place with good ventilation. In case of small leaks the vapors get an escape route, thus preventing any accidents associated with gas leakage.
Moreover, good ventilation keeps the tanks in an ambient temperature zone â€“ which is crucial as the tanks are high pressure vessels and volatility and flammability of propane are very high.
3. Avoid direct sunlight.
While appropriate ventilation is the key to storing propane safely, it does not mean that you store the tanks out in the open â€“ exposed to the elements. Avoiding direct sunlight is crucial for the same reason as proper ventilation â€“ it prevents the tanks from getting heated.
Always store propane tanks in cool and dry places away from direct sunlight, but with good ventilation.
4. Avoid ignition sources.
As it goes without saying, it is essential that you keep ignition sources like lighters, matches, candles etc. away from the propane tanks.
Additionally, it is equally important to keep the propane tanks away from ignition sources like heaters and furnaces.
5. Keep the propane tanks out of reach of children and pets.
It is essential that you store the propane tanks away from children and pets, as any carefree act of theirs could lead to fatal accidents.
6. Invest in residential and portable gas leak detectors.
If you use LPG/CNG stoves at home, you already likely have one of these â€“ or are at least familiar with it. Gas leak detectors are useful tools as they sniff out gas leakages from stoves and cylinders and have an alarm that alerts you.
While residential, permanent fittings are more common, it is also easy to find portable gas leak detectors that you can carry around in your luggage during your camping trips, or even have it temporarily installed in the boot of your car.
Here are a few options you could check:
- Y201 Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector; Portable Gas Sniffer to Locate Gas Leaks of Combustible Gases like Methane, LPG, LNG, Fuel, Sewer Gas; w/ Flexible Sensor Neck, Sound & LED Alarm, eBook
A Gas Detector For Almost Every Combustible Gas: Locates the source of explosive gas leaks including natural gas or methane, propane, fuel including gasoline or kerosene, sewer gas, alcohol, butane, coal gas, ethane, toluene, and other flammable gases.
Portable & Flexible Gas Leak Detector: Powered by 3 AAA batteries, this portable gas detector sniffer can be taken anywhere to find gas leaks indoors or outdoors. Bend 12-inch length sensor neck in any direction along gas pipes or fuel lines in confined spaces to find gas leaks.
Visual / Audio Gas Indicators: 6 LEDs with 85dB tonal alarm notify users of gas leaks and relative concentrations of natural gas & propane.
Adjustable Sensitivity: Increase sensitivity dial to find small gas leaks. Decrease sensitivity to find larger explosive gas leaks while filtering out false alarms from background gas levels. If the alarm sounds when turning on the detector, sensitivity needs to be decreased toward (-).
- Klein Tools ET120 Gas Leak Detector, Combustible Gas Leak Meter with 18-Inch Gooseneck Has Range 50 – 10,000 ppm, Includes Pouch, Batteries
Detection range: Approximately 50 to 10,000 ppm* (*based on Methane)
Two levels of sensitivity: High (approximately 50 to 1000 ppm) and Low (approximately 1000 to 10,000 ppm)
Five red LED’s (visual) and 85dB audible alerts that increase with gas concentration
Automatic zero-point calibration at power-up (lights will flash during self-calibration; this does not indicate the presence of gas)
18-Inch flexible gooseneck expands sensor’s reach; clips onto meter for storage
- Portable Combustible Gas Leak Detector for Natural Gas Propane Methane, Handheld Gas Sniffer with Adjustable Sensitivity Sensor Probe, Sound & LED Alarm
Detect And Locate Gas Leak – For Explosive gas including Natural Gas, Propane, Methane, Butane, Fuel Gasoline or Kerosene, Ammonia, Naphtha, Ethanol, Gasoline, Industrial Solvent, Spraying Fuel, LNG, LPG, Sewer Gas
Adjustable Sensitivity & Rapid Response – Equipped with high sensitive solid-state sensor capable of detecting small gas leak within one second, adjustable sensitivity helps pinpoint leaks quickly and accurately.
Light & Audible Alarm – Visual 6 flashing LEDs and loud audible alarm to quickly determine the strength of the the leak.
Portable And Flexible – Features a flexible 12.6-inch gooseneck probe for easy access into difficult to reach areas, powered by 3 x AAA batteries perfect for use indoors and outdoors.
Easy To Use – Reliable gas leak detection in your home, RV or workplace with this one hand operation tool, user-friendly manual and video tutorial included. 24-Month Extended Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support.
This is all about storage and safety precautions to be taken with propane tanks. Now let us look at how we can transport propane tanks safely.
#2 Safety Tips When Transporting The Propane Tanks
Carrying your propane tanks to the camping site should not be a risky or scary ordeal. With just a few precautions, you can rest assured that your trip will be a safe one.
Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind while carrying your propane tanks in your car or minivan:
1. Leave the window or trunk slightly open for ventilation.
As mentioned earlier, appropriate ventilation is essential for propane tanks â€“ it prevents overheating and prevents risks associated with gas leakages.
2. Keep it upright.
You can use a milk crate or any other special platform for the same.
3. Use Car A.C for long trips.
If your road trip is going to be a long one, you can turn on car air conditioners to prevent overheating of tanks.
4. Safety checks before transporting.
Check and ensure that all valves are closed and there are no leakages prior to transporting the tanks.
5. Donâ€™t keep tanks in longer than needed.
As soon as you reach the destination, immediately set the tanks outside.
#3 Safety Features in Propane Tanks
While we can never be too safe, we also need not be too worried. The manufacturers ensure consumer safety with safety features in the propane tanks.
1. The service valve.
The service or â€œshut-offâ€ valve is the metal spigot-like dial seen under the tank cover and plumbed to the top of the tank.
You should use this valve to turn the gas off at the tank during an emergency or leak. Always turn this valve clockwise, to the right, fully to shut off the gas.
2. The regulator.
The regulator is a flat, circular piece connected by a tube to the shut-off valve.
This piece of equipment controls the flow and pressure of propane being delivered from the tank to your homeâ€™s appliances.
3. The Safety Relief Valve
The round, capped safety relief valve is located near the shut-off valve on the base of the tank. This protects the tank in the case of high-pressure situations caused by emergency events such as a fire.
The valve may open on its own if the pressure inside the tank gets too high and will close again when the pressure returns to normal. Be sure to always keep your face and hands clear of this valve.
4. Ethyl Mercaptan.
This smelly, stinky compound added to the propane fuel is actually a pretty good lifesaver. Propane is originally a colorless, odorless compound. Since it has no smell, it would become difficult to detect any leakage if not for ethyl mercaptan. It has the smell of rotten eggs.
It is important to always keep your eyes, ears and nose out for warning signs of any problems with your propane tank. â€œRotten-eggâ€ odors and whistling sounds that signify a leak are such signs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Carrying, transporting and storing your propane tanks should not be a risky ordeal. As long as you follow the precautions and take good care of the safety instructions, you shouldnâ€™t face any problems in carrying propane tanks.
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